From the ultra-cool and clean style of the Finns, it’s just a few steps to the entrance of the Abury store, which grabs our attention with its bright, warm colours. During a brief chat with the store manager we find out that there’s not only a great design behind the bags and accessories, but also a great philosophy: the products are handmade by artisan communities with the support of a selected designer, who thanks to a grant, is able to travel to each of the countries and hold workshops there.
The brand follows the “handmade, modern design and social impact” principle, which they seem to be implementing with great success. A huge 50 percent of the proceeds from the sales go to the Abury Foundation and is sustainably invested. A quick browse of the store reveals lovely scarves from Ethiopia, pretty stools from Romania, colourful jewellery from India, Tanzania and Ecuador and of course also the brand’s trademark: Moroccan-inspired, embroidered handbags.
In contrast to the burst of colour, we head a few doors down to the Japanese tea store “Chaya”. Setting foot in this store is like entering a parallel world where in a matter of seconds you’ll wind down, relax and feel completely calm. It’s hard to say whether it’s down to the soft sounds of the music, the scent of the incense sticks or the quiet clinking of the porcelain. Or the fact that all stress seems to fade away as you browse and admire the many little accessories that will turn the ritual of tea drinking into a real ceremony: handmade porcelain crockery, over twenty types of matcha and more than fifty types of the famous Japanese green tea.
And all items also make the ideal gift! True Japan fans will also be happy to find kimonos, traditional geta clogs and even CDs of the wonderfully relaxing music on offer. Our highlight: in the shop itself you can also try an incredibly delicious ice cream drizzled with matcha sauce – the perfect excuse to take a break from shopping, gaze at the view of the church outside and treat your taste buds.
And what would a shopping trip be without a decent portion of fashion thrown in? BIKINI BERLIN offers an exquisite selection of unique pieces, cool finds that you won’t see every second person on the streets of Berlin wearing and that you can enjoy for many years to come. A visit to the stylish Studio183 is therefore a must: here you’ll be able to browse selected designer pieces from all over the world and beautiful accessories that add the perfect finishing touch to any outfit. The nature-inspired collection by “Marble & Co” particularly caught our eye, a Turkish brand that started out with T-shirts and meanwhile offers minimalistic, structured and high-quality pieces for both men and women. The marble prints of the flowing fabrics are especially elegant and surprisingly light – perfect for the start of the Berlin summer!